What a Land Developer Actually Does

Real estate isn’t always a cut and dry business. There are a lot of areas you never even hear about until you start the home shopping process. One of those unknowns is land development, especially if you plan on building your home. Check out this outline of what land developers do and what that means for you, the homebuyer.

The Land

Finding the perfect land to build a community on can be quite the process. As with most real estate, the most important aspect is location, location, location. The land developer must take into consideration school systems, commuting routes and proximity to restaurants, shopping, and other amenities when selecting areas for new communities.

Once the general area has been identified, the land developer must identify individual parcels that have access to water and sewer mains, drainage outlets, and other utilities such as electricity, gas, and cable. Additionally, the developer takes into consideration the topography and natural features of the real estate when determining if a parcel is suitable for development.

Land Entitlements

Finding the land is only the first step of the development process. Once a parcel is identified and under contract for purchase, the developer must determine what size of lots they want to create and layout the streets, storm water detention areas and lots keeping in mind the natural features of the land. Once a layout is completed the developer must obtain the necessary zoning, platting and construction plan approvals from the local municipalities. Depending on the existing zoning of the parcel, this process can take anywhere from a few months to over a year. 

Building the Community

Only after the required approvals are granted can the actual construction of the community begin. Entryways, streets, and curbs are the most noticeable community improvements, but there are a lot of other areas that need to be built to make a subdivision community complete. For the home itself, things like building pads, water, sewer storm water connections, and facilitating gas, electric and other utilities are the responsibility of the land developer. Then there are things like common area sidewalks, traffic signs, landscaping and storm water management that are also the land developer’s job.


If you’ve discovered that building your dream home is you next step in life, your land developer can really point you in the right direction when selecting a custom homebuilder and the perfect lot for your house to sit on. Typically, they’ve worked in the industry for some years and know the ins and outs of who is not only great at building custom homes, but will also meet your specific style and needs.

There’s a lot that goes into the job of land developer. Perhaps even more than you thought before reading this article! But, for even more info on how a land developer can help you feel free to contact us.